… awaits word from company on draft contractThe Malaysian-owned Barama Company Limited will likely be granted approval to continue its operations in Guyana when its 25-year Investment Development Agreement comes to an end in October.Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman (left) toured the Barama Company Limited facility earlier this yearNatural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman, on Tuesday confirmed to Guyana Times that Government will be moving ahead with the renewal of the agreement.He said Government already dispatched a draft agreement to the logging company and is awaiting its comments on the proposal before wrapping up the deal.“The Barama agreement is still being finalised and a draft has been shared with the company for its review and comments,” he stated.He refrained from providing further information on the matter until a definite decision has been taken.“Until we agree, I won’t want to get into specifics, except to say that we are proceeding and getting nearer to a conclusion,” Trotman stated.In a recent statement, the Natural Resources Ministry explained that a Task Force was established to examine the Company’s request for a continuation of its contract.Cabinet had recommended the convening of a Task Force to examine the request given the rapacious activities of some foreign companies operating in the forests of Guyana.The Government had noted too that some negative observations had also been expressed at the operations spearheaded by Barama.The Task Force met on several occasions and visited Barama’s operations at Buckhall, Essequibo, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).A legal consultant subsequently began reviewing the existing contract, forest concessions and tax incentives, previously enjoyed by the Company, while other members of the team examined critical issues, such as workers’ rights, value added operations and environmental management practices, to name a few.General Manager of Barama Guyana, Mohindra Chand, emphasised the Company’s commitment to continue its operations in Guyana, stating that while it was faced with many challenges, it has no intention to shut down its operations.Barama has invested in excess of US$43 billion in its local operations since its establishment in 1991.Barama’s operations consist of forest management, timber harvesting and manufacturing of various wood-based products, such as plywood, sawn timber and flooring products.It is one of Guyana’s biggest employers, employing approximately 1000 Guyanese.It has been allocated some 1.6 million hectares of the State production forest and has been operating the largest forest concession in Guyana.
The report has been compiled by Modus Planning Design and Engagement and will make recommendations on how to revitalize the Downtown core based on community feedback. That report will be presented at 1 p.m. The public is welcome to attend or your can watch the meeting online at www.fortstjohn.ca.During the 3 p.m. Council meeting, Council will hear a presentation from School District 60 about Anti-Bulling and Pink Shirt Day held on February 25, 2015. Council will also look to approve the purchase of recycling carts to help launch the City’s recycling program this fall.Again the public is welcome to attend this meeting at City Hall or watch is online at www.fortstjohn.ca.- Advertisement -Below are the full agendas for both the Committee of the Whole and Council meetings.City of Fort St. John Committee of the Whole AgendaCity of Fort St. John Council Meeting AgendaAdvertisement